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Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
By William Kincaid
Head Start moving to former Franklin school in Montezuma
  Mercer County Head Start will be relocated to the former Franklin school building in Montezuma next school year, Celina City Schools Superintendent Matt Miller announced at a school board meeting Monday night.
The program, currently housed at the Celina Education Complex with one unit at Coldwater Exempted Village Schools, will be moved because of the additional space at the Montezuma facility, Miller said.
"We really wanted to use that building for (the) students," Miller said this morning.
In addition to the extra room, Miller said the building is more centrally located in Mercer County.
Head Start's current enrollment number is at an unprecedented high of 156 as of May 15, Head Start Director Carol Schroyer wrote in a report to the board.
"Historically we are thrilled to have over 100 registered by this time of year," she wrote. "We continue to recruit and look forward to the ability to develop class schedules, bus routes, etc., well in advance of the start of the school year."
Miller said Head Start staff and students will have full access to the Franklin building.
Head Start is a countywide preschool program serving children age 3-5 who have a disability or whose families are income eligible, according to Celina Treasurer Mike Marbaugh.
As fiscal agent, Celina City Schools receives an annual $1 million federal grant to facilitate the program, which covers all operating costs, according to Marbaugh.
The Alternative and Opportunity schools run by the Mercer County Educational Service Center, as well as the court-ordered West Central Day Treatment program, will be moved from Franklin to the Celina Education Complex, Miller said. In 2006, the county's alternative and opportunity schools moved from the Galleria to the Franklin building.
Celina City School's own Alternative School also will move with the others to the education complex, which Miller believes will be a better setup as it allows community resources to converge on one location.
The Montezuma United Methodist church, which holds services in the Franklin building, will be displaced by the move.
"I think they understand it (the building) needs to go back to its intended purpose," Miller said.
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